Thursday, March 08, 2007

Even MORE Pokez in the eye - and insight as to why.


The Pokez incident that I first mentioned a week or so ago refuses to go away, and this story gives an idea as to why.
San Diego CityBEAT: "“This is coming from all over the world,” said William Cary, a former board member of the San Diego Autism Society. “Some people are calling for a boycott, but there are others of us who would like to go with our children, and see how they’re going to respond, or reevaluate how they treat people.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 4 million children are born with autism every year, and one in 152 8-year-olds are autistic. Cary believes the Pokez incident tapped a deep reservoir of frustration in the autistic community.

“Everyone has a horror story,” Cary said. “I once had a supermarket clerk ask if my son needed an exorcism.”

Glass filed a police report and has been in contact with the City Attorney’s office. At the moment, he doesn’t plan to sue, but that could change.

“What I really want out of this is an apology for David,” he said. “He needs to know he didn’t do anything wrong.”"
Both autistics themselves AND the parents of autistics need to know they haven't done anything wrong when some disturbed individual decides to target the day's frustration upon us or ours just because we are a visible target.

I'm Autistic, what's your excuse?
Frankly, this has more to do with the concepts of Civility, Civilization and Civil Rights than it does with Autism or the alleged lack of it by the experts in neurobiology at Pokez.

David did nothing wrong, Pokez has done nothing right; compounding a waitress's "mental moment" with a callus disregard for the family and the good opinion of civilized people.

I believe it's time - both specifically and generally - to insist on being treated with the same courtesy given whatever home-boys the easily amused hang with, whether they be grungy rock fans, as in this case, schoolyard bullies or fans of quack cures for visible differences.

It is all of a piece, symptomatic of deep dysfunctions in our society, depravities that we must no longer tolerate in the name of "trying to understand both sides." This is one of those cases where there IS only one side; where even the most biased retelling of the facts cannot conceal the malicious and casual indifference to the difficulties and pain of others that has permeated our society. To remain silent, or to patiently endure it is to permit evil to flourish.

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